The Act gives First Nation communities the opportunity to either develop their own community matrimonial real property law or follow provisional federal rules. To develop their own law, the content must be agreed upon by the First Nation and its members. If a First Nation makes its own laws within one year, before December 16, 2014 the provisional federal rules will not apply to that community.
Should a First Nation not enact its own law the provisional federal rules are in effect and the following protections and rights would apply during a conjugal relationship, in the event of a breakdown or that relationship or on the death of their spouse or common-law partner:
- Emergency Protection Orders
- Family Home
- Division of On-Reserve Matrimonial Interests or Rights
The Act does not:
- Allow non-Indians or non-members to gain permanent possession of a family home
- Give non-members of a First Nation the ability to sell reserve land
- Allow the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to have any role in reviewing, cancelling, rejecting or altering First Nation Laws.